On Sept. 9, 2019, the "Brady Bunch" home gets a real estate makeover on the new HGTV series "A Very Brady Renovation." Starring all six of TV's Brady kids — Maureen McCormick, Eve Plumb, Susan Olsen, Mike Lookinland, Christopher Knight and Barry Williams — the series follows the former child stars as they help renovate the Studio City, California, house that was used for exterior shots of their fictional family's home. In honor of the new show's debut, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at some of Hollywood's biggest real estate dramas, including the one involving a former boybander who tried to buy the Brady house first! Keep reading for more…
Former *NSYNC member Lance Bass — who's a "Brady Bunch" superfan — was left singing "Bye Bye Bye" after he learned he was outbid on the famed Brady house. The drama began on Aug. 3, 2018, when Lance shared the exciting news on Twitter that his offer for the property had been accepted, adding, "This is going to be a fun project!" Two days later, however, his tune had changed. Lance shared in a since-deleted Instagram post that after the deadline for offers had passed, a new buyer with "unlimited resources" emerged and made a higher bid for the property, which the seller accepted. (The Los Angeles Times reported that the property went for $3.5 million — or $1.6 million more than its $1.885 listing price.) A week later, the mystery buyer was revealed as HGTV, which purchased the property with plans to make a new show, "A Very Brady Renovation." In a fun twist, Lance later shared that he was no longer bitter about what happened and would be involved in the show "in some way."
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Have a seat, because this real estate battle between Katy Perry and two Catholic nuns, which began in 2013, is a doozy. The Los Angeles Archdiocese sold a convent that had been home to the Order of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a sprawling eight-acre estate located in the hills of L.A.'s Los Feliz area, to Katy in 2015 for $14.5 million. According to two nuns who'd lived there — Sister Catherine Rose Holzman and Sister Rita Callanan — the Archdiocese forced them to move against their will in 2011 and had no right to sell the place, given that the orders' sisters had bought it back in the 1970s. Adding to the drama was the nuns' disapproval of Katy's overtly sexual public image, which they claimed made her the worst possible person to buy the convent. The nuns wanted it to go to a different buyer, restaurateur Dana Hollister, and secured a sale on their own. In July 2015, a judge ruled in favor of Katy and the Archdiocese, invalidating Dana's purchase. In 2017, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge also ruled that Sister Catherine Rose and Sister Rita had no authority to sell the estate, citing a rule that requires the Vatican to approve any church property sales over $7.5 million. Sadly, the drama still wasn't over. Additional court rulings awarded Katy and the Archdiocese monetary compensation for their legal fees from Dana, who later declared bankruptcy, while the Vatican decided that Katy couldn't buy the property until a suitable replacement for the still-in-use House of Prayer — located on the estate grounds — was located by the Archdiocese. Still in limbo, Dana went to bankruptcy court in 2018, accompanied by the nuns. During a courtroom break, 89-year-old Sister Catherine Rose spoke to a FOX 11 News reporter about the matter, saying, "Katy Perry, please stop. It's not doing anyone any good except hurting a lot of people." Just hours later, the nun collapsed and died at the courthouse. Sister Rita later told the New York Post, "Katy Perry has blood on her hands." The convent was put back on the market and Sister Rita vowed to keep fighting an Archdiocese sale.
If you think Rihanna is untouched by real estate drama, think again. In 2009, the Grammy-winning recording artist purchased a home in Los Angeles's coveted Beverly Crest community for $6.5 million. Just two years later, the home was placed on a foreclosure list, which raised eyebrows. It turns out that after a moderate rainstorm, the house suffered extreme water damage, revealing it wasn't up to code when it was sold. In a lawsuit filed against the former owners, Rihanna's lawyers claimed that shoddy renovations caused "extensive water intrusion," turning the property into a "major fixer upper." Rihanna's lawyers also claimed the "Umbrella" singer paid too much for the home based on the real estate broker's incorrect comps. In a second lawsuit, Rihanna sued her accountant, who'd encouraged her to buy the property, claiming the purchase nearly "bankrupted" her. In 2011, Rihanna listed the home in a cash-only short sale, taking on a $2 million loss. Thankfully, she settled both lawsuits and was able to recoup some of her investment.
According to some residents, Brad Pitt's charity home-building organization, Make it Right, might have been making it wrong for some Hurricane Katrina victims. In a 2018 lawsuit filed against the nonprofit — which helped rebuild parts of New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward following the devastating 2005 hurricane — residents alleged that they were living in "defective and improperly constructed homes." The lawsuit also claimed that builders knew about the deficiencies — which residents said had lowered the value of their properties — but never alerted them. The case was moved to federal court in 2018 and returned to civil court in 2019. Brad has not denied his foundation's liability in the case but his lawyers have requested his name be removed as a defendant because he was not actually involved in any part of the construction or design of the homes.
Drake clearly means what he says in his songs. In his 2015 hit "Where Ya At," Drake rapped, "I'm self-made, selfish with my women, self-employed / I'll buy the neighbor's house if they complain about the noise." Just a year later, the former Young Money/Cash Money star made good on his promise when he purchased a $2.85 million home adjacent to his YOLO property in Hidden Hills, California, following complaints about his loud music.
Sandra Bullock is not here for anyone's bull, especially not the the architect responsible for building what was supposed to be her Texas dream home. In 2001, Sandy was sued by architect M.B. "Benny" Daneshjou for nonpayment on the home he both designed and constructed. The "Speed" actress countersued, citing shoddy construction and racketeering based on illegal billing practices. In 2004, the case went to court, with a third-party architect taking the stand for Sandra, showing video evidence of mold and rot throughout the property, windows and doors that leaked air and moisture, wet insulation and, shockingly, an outdoor wall that was built on the ground without a foundation, among other jaw-dropping examples. The actress, who'd paid $6 million for her home, claimed she needed to pay an additional $4 million for repairs to make the house livable. The jury sided with Sandra, awarding her $7 million in damages.
Eggs can be part of a healthy diet, but they're also part of a recipe for neighborhood drama. In 2014, Justin Bieber was charged with vandalism after he reportedly threw eggs at his neighbor's multimillion-dollar home in Calabasas, California. The Canadian singer was ordered to pay $80,000 in restitution to his neighbor, who later sued him for assault and battery, trespassing and infliction of emotional distress to the tune of an additional $25,000. In the lawsuit, the neighbor alleged that Justin terrorized their community with loud parties and had a penchant for speeding down the street, making it unsafe for families living there. Justin later sold his party pad to another famous star, Khloe Kardashian. In 2018 after three years of litigation, Justin finally settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount.
Ed Sheeran is learning the hard way that all the money in the world won't stop nosy neighbors from complaining about your seemingly illegal pool, er, pond. In March 2019, an addition to Ed's Suffolk, England, estate made headlines after neighbors accused him building a party pool but pretending it was something else entirely. Ed's planning application for a "wildlife pond" to "support nature conservation" specifically prohibited any other uses, including as a pool for "recreational leisure such as swimming." Aerial photographs of the so-called pond showed a jetty and steps leading into the azure blue water, as well as what appeared to be a changing room built on the edge. In April, things got worse when an inspection revealed Ed's changing room was actually a sauna that he installed without securing appropriate permissions from the county. The singer was later ordered to either apply for permission or remove it. This latest row is one of many Ed's faced. Previous real estate drama included complaints that he put up a non-approved pub sign on a barn that he'd legally converted into a bar, which is located on the same sprawling property as the "pond."
Rule No. 1: If you mess with Bethenny Frankel's real estate, she will come for you. In 2016, Page Six revealed that the "Real Housewives of New York City" alum was suing her former real estate attorney for $2 million for breach of contract, fraud and notary misconduct over an unauthorized addition to her real estate trust. The trust was established in 2011 to hide Bethenny's identity as the buyer of her $5 million Tribeca apartment. According to Bethenny, lawyer Jamie Andrew Schreck incorrectly listed Bethenny and her estranged husband, Jason Hoppy, as beneficiaries of the trust — a mistake that led to a lengthy legal battle between Bethenny and Jason over ownership of the apartment during their long and drawn-out divorce proceedings. As of 2019, the case against her former real estate attorney had yet to be resolved.
Another "The Real Housewives of New York City" star, Luann de Lesseps, has claimed that some family real estate drama added to issues that led to her second alcohol relapse in 2018. Luann shared on the "Today" show that she fell off the wagon after a lawsuit was brought against her by ex-husband Count Alexandre de Lesseps and their two children, Victoria and Noel, over her decision to sell their beloved $8 million Hamptons home in order to purchase something larger (she allegedly violated terms of a divorce settlement by failing to create a trust "for the benefit of her two children"). After learning about the lawsuit in the press, Luann claimed she felt "betrayed" and "hurt," which ultimately led her back to alcohol. After she sobered up again, Luann said she understood why they did it: "The children weren't happy about that because it's their home… I've decided to take something smaller and keep my home for the children because I love them."
Eccentric rapper and designer Kanye West wanted to build a futuristic community in Calabasas, California. The only problem? He doesn't have the permits to do so. But that didn't stop him from putting up buildings. In July 2019, neighbors anonymously reported construction on Ye's 300-acre property in Los Angeles County. Inspectors found peculiar 50-foot-high dome-shaped wooden buildings seemingly inspired by "Star Wars" structures. The buildings, which were supposedly meant to explore the idea of providing affordable housing to low-income residents, were dubbed "Yeezy Home." Onsite workers told inspectors the buildings were only temporary and therefore didn't need permits, but a later inspection found the homes were constructed on concrete foundations — suggesting they were permanent after all. On July 31, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works cited Kanye for failing to secure the appropriate permits, giving him until Sept. 15, 2019, to either get them or tear down his structures.
Tori Spelling and husband Dean McDermott have endured more financial hard knocks than most. After multiple lawsuits were filed against the couple for unpaid loan and credit card balances in 2016 and 2018, a public California taxpayers list showed they were delinquent on the 2017 property taxes for their Woodland Hills mansion. They owed a reported $1,980 in property taxes and a whopping $282,654 in unpaid personal taxes, though the couple apparently managed to clear their debt as of June 2018, since they're no longer listed as delinquent. Things might finally be looking up for the reality stars: In 2019, they moved to a $13,000-a-month rental home in Los Angeles's exclusive Hidden Hills community.
In 2017 — the same year Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux ended their two-year marriage — Justin filed a lawsuit against his Greenwich Village neighbor, attorney Norman Resnicow, for "bullying and intimidation" related to Justin's New York City apartment renovations. Problems with Norman began as early as 2015 when he demanded Justin install $30,000 in soundproofing on the floor. When the actor failed to comply, Norman allegedly shut off his patio water and electricity and began a campaign of pettiness. Seeking $350,000 in damages, Justin claimed Norman was "tyrannical," going so far as to kill the ivy growing on the actor's patio out of spite. In 2018, Justin and other residents of the apartment building got a restraining order against Norman, alleging harassment and bizarre behavior. As of 2019, the lawsuit was still ongoing. Norman was ordered to pay $23,000 for violating the restraining order after he sent an angry email to the president of the building's co-op board.
"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Mauricio Umansky — whose wife is Kyle Richards — was in some serious legal trouble over a property he sold and bought in 2016. According to an $8 million lawsuit brought by Equatorial Guinea Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang, Mauricio was his agent for the sale of the politician's Malibu mansion — a property he was forced to unload after striking a deal with the U.S. Justice Department over allegations that he stole money from the Equatorial Guinea government. Things got sticky after Mauricio reportedly sold the property to himself and luxury developer Mauricio Oberfeld for $32.5 million without disclosing his involvement in the purchase to his client. Teodoro claimed Mauricio U. also didn't reveal that higher offers had been made on the place before it sold. A year later, both Mauricios flipped the house, selling it for more than double the purchase price — nearly $70 million. Mauricio U.'s real estate company, The Agency, released the following statement about the lawsuit: "The Agency and Mauricio Umansky exerted the highest level of integrity and honesty in this transaction, as they do in representing each of their clients. The Agency and Mr. Umansky conducted the Sweetwater transaction under the oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice, as part of an agreement between the seller and the United States Government." It wasn't the only lawsuit the part-time reality TV star had to contend with: In 2018, Mauricio U.'s insurance company, Western World Insurance, sued him for breach of contract in an effort to cease paying for his legal defense, leading Mauricio to respond with a countersuit. That case was settled the same year. Teodoro's lawsuit is ongoing.
Yet another husband, or rather, ex-husband, connected to "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" is in hot water over real estate. Developer Mohamed Hadid — the father of models Bella Hadid, Gigi Hadid and Anwar Hadid and the ex-hubby of former "RHOBH" star Yolanda Hadid — faced criminal charges in 2015 after he apparently disregarded building violations issued by the City of Los Angeles concerning construction of his mega-mansion in the community of Bel Air. The unfinished sprawling estate was not only built on an unstable hill — causing neighbors to fear a potential landslide — but was also decidedly bigger than permits allowed (more than 9,000 square feet larger!). Prosecutors later filed criminal charges against Mohamed, to which he pleaded no contest and received three years probation, fines and community service. Neighbors later followed with their own lawsuit, claiming Mohamed hasn't lived up to his plea deal. To date, the lawsuit is still ongoing, with a former construction manager of the property saying that due to safety concerns, "the entire house must be demolished."
Adam Lambert was one of several celebrities targeted in a jaw-dropping real estate scandal in 2019. Jason Emil Yaselli and Benjamin Eitan Ackerman were arrested and charged with 32 counts of money laundering and 12 counts of first-degree residential burglary and identity theft, among other charges, stemming from their alleged scheme to impersonate interested home buyers and real estate agents to gain access to properties that were for sale, often during open houses. While inside the homes of celebrities like Adam, Usher and "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Dorit Kemsley, the pair allegedly stole upwards of $500,000 in property including jewelry, expensive wine, designer purses and clothes and more. As of August 2019, the case remained under investigation.
This real estate drama started off kind of sweet. In 2016, fans of "Full House" and its reboot, "Fuller House," learned that the famed Tanner house — which was featured in the opening credits of both shows — was purchased by a mystery buyer shortly after it was put on the market. Once the sale was finalized, the buyer was revealed as none other than the show's creator, Hollywood producer and screenwriter Jeff Franklin. At the time of the purchase, Jeff envisioned restoring the San Francisco property to its TV glory and turning it into an homage to the shows. However, pushback from neighbors — who feared crowds of strangers would flock to their quiet community — led Jeff to change his mind. After renovating the home, he decided to list it for sale in 2019 for nearly $6 million.
Former NBA star Michael Jordan's name might be enough to sell his famous Nike Air Jordans shoe line, but it hasn't helped him sell his elaborate Chicago mansion, which has been on the market since 2012! The property was originally listed at $29 million and dropped to a listing price of $14.85 million in 2015. The 56,000-square-foot abode featuring nine bedrooms and 19 bathrooms failed to attract a buyer at auction in 2013 too. The reason? Real estate experts think it's all the custom touches, which include a massive basketball court in the center of the house with Michael's name emblazoned on both ends — as well as its exorbitant price tag — that have scared away potential buyers. The house, which is located in Chicago's upscale Highland Park neighborhood, is priced more than three times higher than any nearby properties, making it seem unlikely to sell anytime soon.
Director Michael Bay doesn't just make dramas for the big screen — he also lives them. In 2015, the "Transformers" franchise director was hit with a lawsuit from a construction worker hired to help build the mogul's Los Angeles home. According to court documents obtained by TMZ, the unnamed worker claimed that in 2013, he fell in a tarp-covered hole on the property. The fall caused unspecified injuries that led to medical costs and missed work, the worker claimed, so he asked Michael to pay for those as well as for additional damages. Though there haven't been any updates on the lawsuit, we do know that in March 2015 — the same month the lawsuit was announced — Michael and his newly constructed three-story home were featured in Architectural Digest.